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Cork conference to look at social scientific perspective on cycling

A call for contributions has been made for the Socio-Cycle: Cycling Symposium on February 3-4, 2023 at University College in Cork.

The event organisers said: “We intend this to be an open and inclusive event. We welcome submissions from academics, including early career researchers and Masters-level students, and individuals and/or groups beyond academia who are involved in policy-making, advocacy and activism, and the promotion of cycling through professional and/or community-based activities.”

Dr Meredith Glaser, from the Urban Cycling Institute at the University of Amsterdam, is to give the keynote address at the event.

The organisers said that they welcome contributions addressing issues, including the following themes and questions:

  • How can we better understand the social and cultural factors that influence cycling culture in a small city like Cork?
  • In what ways can Irish cities learn from good practice examples from similar small or regional cities in Europe and internationally that demonstrate how cycling can be promoted in convincing and creative ways?
  • Irish cities can be described as starter cycling cities (i.e. with a cycling modal share below 10%). How can social, cultural, and political resistance to cycling in cities like Cork be challenged and how can pro-cycling policy and cycling uptake be advanced?
  • How are cycling practices shaped by social differences including age, gender, ethnicity, class/social location, and (dis)ability?
  • What is known about children and young people’s mobility or cycling experiences in the city? How are young cyclists (and their parents/guardians) represented in media and policy narratives? How do we connect children’s cycling to policy agendas such as the playful city? How does thinking about cycling as ‘play’ challenge mobility-enhancing paradigms?
  • How is cycling safety understood? Whose responsibility is cycling safety? Whose responsibility is it to police cycling safety? In what circumstances do cyclists feel safe? Which cyclists feel safe(r)?
  • Thinking about the concept of mobility justice, how do systems of discrimination, such as racism, sexism, classism, ageism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression shape cycling practices, impact on perceptions of (un)safety, and limit cycling potential?
  • How does the concept of sustainable accessibility encourage us to think differently about the intersection between cycling practices, policies, and infrastructures and proximity to essential goods, services, and places ?
  • How does the concept of proximity encourage us to reimagine sustainable travel and pro-cycling policies? For example, how do cycling policies complement urban planning ideas that promote proximity, such as the 15-minute city? How is the idea of proximity important in the context of a small city?
  • What is the significance of cycling advocacy groups for challenging car dependency? How is pro-cycling activism represented in media and local politics? How can pro-cycling activism become more impactful? Why and how do people engage in cycling advocacy?
  • How do new cycling practices such as the use of bike share schemes, cargo bikes, and e-bikes, shape and reshape thinking about mobility, environmental sustainability, accessibility, justice and inclusivity? For example, what are the implications for cycling with children, people with disabilities, older people, etc.

The conference registration site is to oven m in early January, with a regular fee of €50 for attendees and a students/low wage/unwaged free of €20, include coffee/tea breaks and lunches.

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Cian Ginty

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